How to avoid hot flashes & insomnia?
Menopause can be described as the retirement of the female reproductive system, and it also brings the same level of relief that retirement brings. Periods are something that women deal with for the majority of their lives and quite painful for most. So when it’s time for menopause most women are happy. But what we don’t look forward to are the symptoms that come along with menopause. The most obvious and exasperating symptoms of menopause are hot flashes and insomnia, the two are mostly consequent.
What are hot flashes?
Hot flashes are sudden feelings of intense body heat that can occur during the day or night. This sensation of heat is usually accompanied by flushed redness of the face and sweating profusely. Hot flashes start when blood vessels near the skin’s surface widen to cool off, making you break out in a sweat. Some women have a rapid heart rate or chills, too. If they happen during the night then they are also called night sweats. This sudden feeling of heat at night often brings along with it insomnia, which is the inability to sleep. But it is not always mandatory that it is a byproduct of hot flashes.
Symptoms of Insomnia
Insomnia is not just the inability to sleep. You can detect that you have insomnia if
- You experience difficulty in falling asleep almost every day
- You wake up multiple times during the night and then struggle to go back to sleep
- You wake up very early in the morning even if you don’t sleep well at night.
- You feel tired even after just waking up.
Common triggers of Hot flashes and Insomnia
- Caffeine: This one comes as no surprise. Caffeine is strongly associated with bouts of energy and anxiety, both of which are huge contributors to insomnia and hot flashes. It is not to say that you have to stay off caffeine, it just means that you have to limit yourself to one cup a day.
- Smoking or secondary smoking: Smoking is a bad habit just in general but in this specific case it increases the body temperature from within which is a bad idea if you are dealing with hot flashes. It also messes with hormones which is already a problem during menopause.
- Spicy foods: This one is also not unexpected. When we eat spicy foods we can feel profuse sweating even if we are not going through menopause, so if you are then needless to say that you need to stay off super spicy food for a few months.
- Tight/ restrictive clothing: Very tight or restrictive clothing often causes discomfort as there is no room for air to flow in and out. This results in trapped body heat thereby lending itself to more intense hot flashes.
How to avoid Hot flashes and insomnia?
- Create a relaxing nighttime routine to keep all your stresses at bay. This will help you go to bed with a fresh blank canvas.
- Wear loose, light material clothing like cotton. This will help you to stay comfortable throughout the night and keep the air flowing, avoiding any room for trapping of body heat.
- Turn your pillow often. When you sleep on one side of the pillow for a long time, it tends to heat up so if you happen to slightly wake up in the middle of the night then flip your pillow. This will provide a new cool surface.
- Make sure you do some form of physical activity throughout the day. This will help your body get tired and sleep better.
- Make sure your room is kept cool at all times by keeping an open ventilation plan.
- Take a warm shower before bed. This helps relax your muscles and put your body into rest mode.
- Do not nap during the day. If you nap during the day then high chances are that sleeping at night might become difficult so make sure you save all your sleep for the night.
- DO NOT TURN TO SLEEP PILLS! This had to be said loud and clear. Sleeping pills are not the solution to this problem unless you have consulted your doctor and they recommend it for you.
Menopause is natural and is a phase of the process of life for women. The symptoms may be difficult to deal with but they will eventually wear off on their own. Most of these symptoms do not require medical treatment but if they become unbearable for you then don’t think twice before visiting your medical health professional.
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